Kevin Costner, one of the most recognized actors and directors in Hollywood, has embarked on the adventure of road trips. With HearHere, Costner gives voice to narratives of American history, with subjects ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Janis Joplin, and from Kentucky’s National Corvette Museum to the Nashville music scene.
HearHere is a podcast application that has a geolocator that gives explanations and tells anecdotes, in audios of approximately 2 to 3 minutes, of the closest places and tourist attractions in the US. The theme is very varied, since apart from history it also talks about sports, gastronomy, culture, geology and many more things that we may be curious about, such as the history of ancient tribes, shipwrecks, plagues, etc.
Stories about America’s founding fathers and their Civil War battlefields are interspersed with stories of slave-settled Mississippian towns and the disenfranchisement of black people. “We don’t have to be ashamed of that,” Costner told CNBC . “We can be a little embarrassed, but it’s more embarrassing not to know,” confessed the actor, who believes that telling the harshest truths about US history is also essential.
The HearHere project emerged in August 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, and Costner’s idea was just to put his voice on these road trips before finally joining the company as a co-founder, along with entrepreneurs Woody Sears and Bill Werlin. Costner’s is not the only voice, as this app also features appearances by former NBA coach Phil Jackson and fellow actor John Lithgow.
With more than 9,000 audios, the HearHere app has already been downloaded more than 400,000 times
With more than 9,000 stories told to date, HearHere has already been downloaded more than 400,000 times and has subscribers in the US ($36 for an annual subscription). The company announced in February that it had raised $3.2 million in a seed round of funding, led by US recreational vehicle company Camping World.
This summer is undoubtedly a high point for HearHere, as road travel is expected to pick up this summer. And it is that, according to a survey conducted by The Vacationer , almost 80% of American adults, some 206 million people, expect to take a road trip during the months of June to September.
If everything goes according to plan, the American company is open to expanding internationally, although for that it still has to perfect its business model. “It’s easy to follow a trend, it’s much harder to try to be original. Trending, or repeating something popular, is a way to make a lot of money,” Costner said. “Doing something that is classic, that no one felt like they had seen before, can live forever,” the actor acknowledged.